The Greek economy ministry announced plans to expand the current investment visa program to include extending “gold visas” to foreign nationals investing at least 250,000 euros in bonds or shares.
The diversification of the program comes within the framework of Greece’s participation in the Silk Road initiative and aims to tap into the Chinese market and attract investment from China.
Alternate Economy Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas said the program was among the most competitive in Europe and has already secured important investments for Greece. Indicatively, according to ministry data, 1,573 residence permits had been granted to third country residents who invested in real estate in Greece by January 31, 2017, with the Chinese alone accounting for 664 visas issued, followed by the Russians with 348, Egypt nationals with 77, Lebanese with 73 and Ukrainians with 67.
The golden visa grants a five-year residence permit renewable for third country nationals who purchase – individually or through a legal entity – property in Greece valued at a minimum of 250,000 euros, or who have taken out a minimum 10-year lease in hotel accommodation or tourism facilities. The residence permit does not foresee a right to employment and citizenship can only be granted after seven years of residency.
This year, buyers from Turkey, China, Egypt, Russia and other Asian and African countries have expressed interest in properties located in central Athens, the coastal suburbs of Faliro and eastward, Myconos, Santorini, Spetses, Antiparos, and regions of Crete.
Meanwhile, Enterprise Greece and the will be organizing a free info event about Greece’s golden visa program to be held on Monday, May 29 at 2.30pm at the Grande Bretagne Hotel in Athens. Minister Pitsiorlas will open the event.